Uyo is cursed plus other scary Nigerian football stories

Uyo has to be cursed or how else can you explain why Nigeria failed to beat the ordinary South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, why?

This is the campaign that has been pushed by certain people who are still yet to deal with fact that South Africa may have overtaken Nigeria football wise.

In women football a time existed when Nigeria would close its eyes and beat the Banyana Banyana four or five nil.

At the last AFCON for women, we all watched and saw how the Super Falcons managed to win that encounter, they just managed.

In men football, it started from the 4-0 thrashing of South Africa in Lagos in 1992 and culminated in the 2014 draw that was 2-2, a game that ensured Nigeria did not make it to the AFCON of 2015.

What happened in Uyo last week had taken 25 years of planning. While Nigeria/ Nigerians mocked the South Africans and called them names, especially, ‘our wives’ they went to their proverbial drawing board and plotted their graphs.

The result was what we saw in Uyo on Saturday, a game that Nigeria could have lost by 4 or 5 mil but we lucky to have lost just by 2 goals.

And just in case, you did not realise, the Nigerian strikers on the pitch, all of Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Victor Osimen and Kayode Olarenwaju did not have a single shot on target for 90 minutes.

Then you begin to wonder what plans we had before and during the game. Why did they come? Why did they play? Not a single shot on target? Then what were they doing all game long?

But who do you blame for all this (because we are Nigerians and will always blame someone or something).

First, Gernot Rohr had to be a useless coach. How could he invite those kind of players and none from the Nigerian league was good enough to start? #RohrOut.

Then it was the fact that Daniel Akpeyi was a useless goalkeeper? So useless that he was in goal for Chippa United twenty eight times in the Premier Soccer League and twice in the NedBank Cup games.

Let us not get into and argument over who has a better League between Nigeria and South Africa. But in any case, #AkpeyiOut.

But after the Daniel Akpeyi tirade, the focus moved to the fact that even the foreign based players invited were too young to start for Nigeria and the Eagles needed more experience.

Suddenly those in China like Brown Ideye and Odion Ighalo who “mortgaged the Super Eagles for money” were beginning to become useful again. #InexperienceOut

After that, the narrative changed to the fact that that the Super Eagles did not have match balls for the game and had to use the ones provided by their opponents.

So, Who touched our balls? Not me. At least I know I shouldn’t be touching your balls and you shouldn’t be touching mine, so who touched our balls?

Could that also have caused the loss? Well, Nigerians said it was part of it, didn’t they? #NFFOut

And finally, the one that beat them all was when Uyo became a jinxed and evil stadium and this was not just coming from the football writers but from Nigerians of all walks of life.

About three hours after the game, a friend I have known for thirty five years sent a text message to me, China, how body? Hope all's well with you and the family. Please use your connections to ensure that NO MORE QUALIFYING MATCHES ARE PLAYED IN THAT DAMNED JINXED STADIUM IN UYO. Yes, it looks gorgeous but we will NEVER QUALIFY for any tournament if we continue playing the matches there. Thanks, good night.

And just on Tuesday morning, I read an article by an Abuja based journalist titled, TIME TO DUMP GODSWILL AKPABIO STADIUM FOR GOOD. #UyoOut

A good old saying goes, “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail,” but Nigerians never understand. One of the reasons the Super Eagles moved their games from Calabar to Uyo was because it was cursed after the country lost 2-3 to Congo in an AFCON 2015 Qualifying game.

A few years back, Nigeria decided to not play in Kano again after a World Cup Qualifying game against Angola ended 1-1. Nigeria did not qualify for the World Cup but rather than blame an unserious team, an unserious coach and an unserious NFF, we chose to blame Kano for being too hot.

The Super Eagles had one game in Kaduna in 2016 and it ended 1-1 against Egypt, all but ending our chances of qualifying for the 2017 AFCON.

I doubt if the Super Eagles will go near Kaduna again. It had to be the fault of the town.

Nigeria MAY not return to Uyo. Maybe Port Harcourt will reap for the jinx of the evil Uyo or maybe, the games may return to Abuja, but there is there really anything evil about the Stadium in Uyo?

The reason we lost to South Africa is what we all know if we stop, think and listen.

There is nothing wrong with the people of Uyo, er...well, except for the occasional body odour (but that never caused any national team to lose a game), and certainly there is nothing wrong with the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

Nigerians can continue to live in denial all they like. We should actually thank the South Africans for having mercy on us and not spelling U-Y-O- on the day or some other scandalous word like N-A-I-J-A-

Terrorist journalist in Enugu

Nigerian football clubs and their politicians are like a chip off the old block as it seems they both learned their trade off the same manual.

Write good reports about a Nigerian politician and you and he are best friends for life but the moment you mention a project abandoned, or one poorly done, you are tagged a member of the opposition party and you immediately become a target.

And this holds true for Nigerian clubs. I am sure we all know this.

A day after the annihilation of the Super Eagles by Bafana Bafana in Uyo I moved over to Enugu for the League game between Rangers and Akwa United and the things I saw/ heard got me thinking.

Rangers International have allegedly tagged a certain journalist, a terrorist and security threat against them.

Well, they didn’t exactly used the word ‘terrorist’ but when you call a person a security threat and ban that person from your stadium, then questions will be asked.

She had been a part of the Rangers family for the last few years and fought many battles for them last season when they won the League but suddenly the team started doing badly this season and with relegation starring them in the face they needed to blame someone and she was the pick.

My investigations reveal that Rangers claim that when Gombe United scored against them in Enugu a few weeks ago, this journalist was caught celebrating and was immediately branded an enemy of the club/ state.

My sources tell me the Rangers management wrote to the Enugu State FA requesting that this female journalist be barred from their stadium because they could no longer guarantee her safety. She was actually described as “a security threat.”

I spoke to a member of the Rangers management and his story was that she was reported by a fan of the team known as Baba Agu who was banned by the League Management Company after the crisis of the Gombe United match.

They claim Baba Agu is very popular and has lots of thugs fingered this female journalists as being the one who reported them to the LMC for the violence unleashes in the game against Gombe United in which the LMC camera man was beaten up.

They claim after a meeting to discuss the matter, they sought advise from the State Football Association who advised them to stop this journalist from coming to the Stadium to watch their games.

He also mentioned the name of FA chairman, Offor Okenwa as one of those who took the decision to stop this journalist from watching their games.

My source at the club, a top member of the management denied that they had anything against this journalist but were trying to protect her though he however insinuated that her previous allegiance to the club may have been due to the fact that Imama Amapakabor was the coach and that allegiance evaporated with his sack.

But writing a letter naming a journalist as a security threat to your team and barring her from watching your games is taking this to a whole new level.

The charges against this journalists are- She celebrated when Gombe United scored against Rangers in Enugu, She was caught talking on the phone to a person from the League Management Company reporting the violence at the stadium that led to the sanctions against Rangers and also that when the referee added 5 minutes to regular time, she exclaimed to the hearing of these same thugs of Baba Agu that 5 minutes was too much.

Bottom line, Rangers like other Nigerian clubs or politicians who are sinking must look for a scape goat, an enemy who is fighting them and is cause of their downfall.

Today it is this journalist, tomorrow, it will be someone else, but to call a journalist a security threat to your team is taking it to a whole new level.

I wish Rangers the best in their fight against relegation and advise them to choose their battles wisely.

Until next week when some other topic on Nigerian football will deserve a blog post, I need to go to bed now.

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  1. Old man.... you're writing from the 'beer parlour' again abi ����. Brilliant job as usual ����

  2. Wow, The Oracle has spoken. Rangers and NFF listen to the Oracle now.

  3. The Super Eagles is yet to lose in Port Harcourt if my memory serves me right. So let's go there. Awesome write up from a veteran.

  4. The Super Eagles is yet to lose in Port Harcourt if my memory serves me right. So let's go there. Awesome write up from a veteran.

  5. I love this piece, very relaxing,yet addressing issues raised#Chinaout
    So a journalist cannot celebrate again???